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There are times when reading Do Not Disturb that you have to pinch yourself to remind you that, although a thriller, it is not made up: It is all real. All true.
The murders are of real people. The fear and paranoia of friends and families is real. They are living in the presence of real danger. Criticism of President Kagame of Rwanda, once the darling of the West, will do that. It will force you to go into hiding. It will make you a subject of oppressive surveillance.
In the case of Paul Rusesabagina, humanitarian hero of the film Hotel Rwanda, it will get you tricked onto a plane, drugged, renditioned, tortured and imprisoned. It can, and often will, get you killed.
When the ubiquitous hotel door sign of the title is used to conceal the killing of a former member of Rwanda’s inner circle, the trails of evidence, methodically and minutely tracked by Wrong over many years and countless interviews, lead straight to Kagame.
As Wrong strips away the glossy window dressing from the so-called “Singapore of Africa,” she reveals a nation run by brutal thugs; a supposed economic miracle, dependant on western support, which suppresses the true scale of the hunger, poor health and fear of an uncountable number of its inhabitants.
Long admired for her fearless reportage, Wrong has written a crisp, insightful - and importantly - honest, account of institutionalised, no… weaponised national lying.
In doing so she has exposed an appalling truth: that Rwanda’s elite have manipulated global shame and compassion to run an entire country with mafia-like grip and murderous avarice, immorality and illegality.
By laying bare the bones of a brutal, merciless dictator, driven by Imperial grade fear, greed and the insecurity of shallow ego, Wrong has documented despotism in all its appalling hideousness. We should care very deeply, as Rwanda is a member nation of the Commonwealth.
A new book from the award winning author of In the Footsteps of Mr Kurtz, Do Not Disturb explores the controversial career of Paul Kagame and the legacy of the Rwandan genocide
Do Not Disturb is a dramatic recasting of the modern history of Africa's Great Lakes region, an area blighted by the greatest genocide of the twentieth century. This bold retelling, vividly sourced by direct testimony from key participants, tears up the traditional script.
In the old version, an idealistic group of young rebels overthrows a genocidal regime in Kigali, ushering in an era of peace and stability that makes Rwanda the donor darling of the West, winning comparisons with Switzerland and Singapore. The new version examines afresh questions which dog the recent past: Why do so many ex-rebels scoff at official explanations of who fired the missile that killed the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi? Why didn't the mass killings end when the rebels took control? Why did those same rebels, victory secured, turn so ruthlessly on one another?
Michela Wrong uses the story of Patrick Karegeya, once Rwanda's head of external intelligence and a quicksilver operator of supple charm, to paint the portrait of a modern African dictatorship created in the chilling likeness of Paul Kagame, the president who sanctioned his former friend's murder.
Praise for Do Not Disturb:
'A withering assault on the murderous regime of Kagame, and a melancholy love song to the last dreams of the African Great Lakes ... very driven, very impassioned' John Le Carre
'Superb ... an epic tale of blood, bitterness and betrayal ... a gripping tale' The Times
'In this extremely important and profoundly disturbing book, Michela Wrong sets out all the miss-steps that were ignored, all the flagrant human rights abuses that were overlooked and all the criminality for which excuses were found, until the new horrors that have been visited upon that country were perpetrated. Ms Wrong is not suggesting that we become Afro-pessimists but telling us that not only is the price of freedom eternal vigilance, but also that we must, in the words of Amilcar Cabral,
tell no lies, claim no easy victories ' Archbishop Desmond Tutu, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize
'Extraordinary and utterly gripping, an excoriating work of immense courage and commitment, one that will surely make waves' Philippe Sands, author of The Ratline: Love, Lies and Justice on the Trail of a Nazi Fugitive
'Michela Wrong takes her readers on an absorbing political journey, in which Rwandan comrades-in-arms Paul Kagame and Patrick Karegeya steadily mutate into lethal adversaries upon achieving power. The ghosts of other historic mortal fallouts - Stalin and Trotsky, Sankara and Compaore, Robespierre and Danton, Mugabe and Mujuru - haunt this story, but more importantly, it draws our attention to the significant structural problems created by ex-military leaders' participation in the building of post-war democracy and peace' Miles Tendi, author of The Army and Politics in Zimbabwe: Mujuru, the Liberation Fighter and Kingmaker
'One of the most far-reaching historical revisions of Kagame and his regime. Meticulously researched, with substantial new material and interviews' Guardian
Publication date: 01/04/2021
Publisher: Fourth Estate Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
|Publication date:||1st April 2021|
|Publisher:||Fourth Estate Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography, History, Political Thrillers, The Real World,|
|Categories:||Genocide & ethnic cleansing, Political leaders & leadership,|
Michela Wrong is a distinguished international journalist, and has worked as a foreign correspondent covering events across the African continent for Reuters, the BBC and the Financial Times. She writes regularly for the New Statesman. Based on her experiences in Africa, In the Footsteps of Mr Kurtz, her first book, won the PEN James Sterne Prize for non-fiction.More About Michela Wrong